Southern California breaking news and trends

Late-Night Metro begins this weekend

Public Transportation Gains Popularity Amid High Gas Prices

David McNew/Getty Images

A train arrives at the subway stop at Pershing Square in Los Angeles, California.

Hook up to the night train this weekend as Metro's 2 a.m. late service goes into effect Friday and Saturday. Starting around midnight, the rails will rock about every 20 minutes. Curbed LA and KCET got the train rolling with a handy breakdown of final calls out of each station:

Red Line
North Hollywood: 1:56 am
Union Station: 2:12 am

Purple Line
Wilshire/Western: 2:01 am
Union Station: 2:02 am

Blue Line
Long Beach Transit Mall to DTLA: 12:53 am
Seventh/Metro: 2:07 am
Long Beach Transit Mall to Wardlow Station: 3:07 am

Gold Line
Sierra Madre: 1:39 am (leaves Union Station at 2:12 am)
Atlantic: 1:43 am (leaves Union Station at 2:12 am)

Orange Line (BUS)
Chatsworth Station: 1:50 am
North Hollywood: 2:53 am

Expo Line
Culver City: 1:49 am
Seventh/Metro: 2:12 am

Green Line
Redondo Beach: 1:58 am (transfers to Long Beach only, hits Blue Line junction at 2:20 am)
Norwalk: 2:09 am (transfers to Long Beach only, also meets Blue Line at 2:20 am)

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Fare is fair: End of the line for LA subway 'honor system'

tickets la subway metro

Photo by Frederick Dennstedt via Flickr Creative Commons

Metro ticket machines at the Hollywood/Highland station in Los Angeles, CA.

Metro will begin locking subway station gates on the Red Line and Purple Line as the transit authority tosses from the train its decades-old policy of "honor system" ticket collection.

L.A. rail-riders will start encountering the locked gates this summer, it was decided Thursday in a vote by the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Notes Metro's blog, The Source:

The Metro Board approved the staff plan on locking gates at rail stations and converting ticket machines completely to TAP. In other words, the ticket machines will no longer issue paper tickets with the conversion set to begin in a few more months.


As the Metro staff explains, the gates WILL NOT be locked all at once. Rather, the agency will aim for first locking the gates at the Normandie station on the Purple Line subway in late summer and then subsequently lock the gates in the remainder of the subway stations over the following seven months.

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Derailment debate: Expo Line junction, what's your malfunction?

Expo Line Test

Kevin Ferguson/KPCC

The Exposition Line train after finishing a test run.

Inspections have been ordered for the Expo Line / Blue Line rail junction because of a design issue that poses an increased risk of derailments, say state safety regulators. 

Metro officials, however, say small modifications at Washington Boulevard and Flower Street have made a huge difference, and that the intersection is safe. 

The issues in question stem from "non-standard" fixes, and a special inspection program is required, says Michelle Cooke of the California Public Utilities Commission's rail safety unit, notes the L.A. Times.

The extra inspections, which will continue indefinitely, were a condition of commission approvals to open the first 7.9 miles of Expo Line last month.

MTA records show the junction as built is defective and presents potential maintenance and safety issues, including a heightened risk that southbound Blue Line trains could derail in the sharply curving intersection — or elsewhere along their route — because of equipment damage.

About 140 trains trips a day are made on the Blue Line, one of the nation's busiest light rail systems with 26 million riders annually.

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Expo Line: Routes, fees, stations, and more

expo line

Screenshot via Metro.net

Route of the new Expo Line.

 

Metro's new Expo Line is a light rail.

Service begins Saturday, April 28, 2012

Free rides on opening day. 

Train travels 8.6-miles from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City.

Full trip takes under 30 minutes.

Station stops every 12 minutes.

176 pieces of new public art debut will debut in the stations.

Follow the train on Twitter and Facebook (or Blog /Website)

 

Station stops:

  • 7th / Metro (Shared with Blue Line)
  • Pico (Shared with Blue Line)
  • 23rd Street
  • Jefferson/USC
  • Expo Park/USC
  • Vermont/Expo
  • Western/Expo
  • Crenshaw/Expo
  • Farmdale
  • La Brea/Expo
  • La Cienega/Jefferson
  • Culver City (set to open Summer 2012)

 

Printables & Resources:

Fact Sheet 
Maps 
Expo Line Art Guide 
Destination Guide
Trip Planner
Fares 

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Fee ride: Possible end of the line for LA subway honor system

tickets la subway metro

Photo by Frederick Dennstedt via Flickr Creative Commons

Metro ticket machines at the Hollywood/Highland station in Los Angeles, CA.

A meeting on Thursday may determine the future of the L.A. subway honor system.

Rogue rail-riders may be forced to pay after more than two decades of what has essentially been an "honor system" for regional train travel.

The board of Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to vote Thursday on whether or not to start locking gates at its stations.

If approved, the lockdown would begin in July at select stations. Passengers would be required to tap a pass or a ticket with a microchip in order to gain access.

The roving, at-random ticket checking system that's currently in place has cost the authority approximately $7 million a year, according to official estimates. 

Experiments in gate-locking were tested at 10 stations last year. Ticket purchases reportedly rose by 68 percent.

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